For Kassia: a bold and beautiful Byzantine poet
The love of adultery is a sin of man
Devised to ruin the goodness of woman,
It is a temptation that must accept
The full springs of your tears.
As you, who bring the rain to wash us clean,
And to make us fresh again,
Bow down to the sighs of my weeping heart.
You altered the realm of being
By your incomprehensible incarnation.
And now the followers of a desert seer
Dismiss your revelation as less than nothing:
Desire to kill all of us who proclaim
The risen Christ.
Your wisdom sits amongst the whores and robbers
Of port cities. Your beauty is a sunset reflected in the tired eyes
Of lovers who will not sell their soul no matter what the price.
I kiss your feet as if they were the feet of Eve last seen in Paradise.
Your devotees in Anatolia hide themselves away in fear
Of their sons being taken for Janissaries.
Who can count the depth of your mercy or the height of your wisdom
Displayed in your judgement of tone and word in your divine poetry?
Only you, Kassia, only you.